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MasterChef finalist and Foodies Festival participant, Laura Michael, answers our Flavour Profile questions

This cook will be appearing at Foodies Festival in Glasgow

Published: August 9, 2022
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What’s your favourite ingredient?

Definitely Scottish scallops. Having cooked with some of the finest, I have fallen in love with how amazing they really are. My favourite recipes are ones that don’t over complicate the beautiful natural fresh taste.

What is your guilty food pleasure?

Sherry trifle. I love it. Every year on Christmas Day, no matter how much I have eaten already, I always finish the meal with two helpings of sherry trifle.

Tell us about your first food memory

I suppose it would be watching my mum cook. I loved her braised lamb leg in red wine. That’s where my love of food came from. My first memory of a chef cooking was probably Nick Nairn. He really inspired me.

Whats your favourite Scottish restaurant, deli or cafe?

I think my all time favourite restaurant in Scotland is going to have to be The Kitchin. They always use what is in season and what’s best at that given moment – wow, I will take that. The food is breathtaking every time I am there and Tom Kitchin’s ‘from nature to plate’ ethos really inspired me to be brave and enter MasterChef last year. I hope to meet him one day and thank him for that.

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What would be your last supper?

It would be a platter of the finest Scottish seafood. It’d be eaten simply with some lemon and a really cold glass of Champagne. Perfect.

Starter or pudding?

Starter for sure. The beginning of a culinary journey is so exciting. Don’t get me wrong. I have a sweet tooth for sure, but, as a diner, there is something so exciting about the beginning of a meal and what is in store.

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Do you have any food hates?

I really dislike Brussels sprouts. I have tried every recipe there is to make them taste good, but to me they just don’t. Sorry.

What starters, mains and desserts would be served at your dream dinner and who would you invite?

For the starter, I would choose some Orkney scallops cooked simply with some sea herbs and seasoned butter. There would be a perfectly aged steak for the main, or maybe some monkfish. For the dessert I love a good creme brûlée or panna cotta. No chocolate, but something creamy. I would definitely want some cheese too though. My perfect guests for a dinner party would be Rick Stein, Anthony Bourdain (if he were still here), Ewan McGregor, John Torode, because he’s a super nice person, and Joni Mitchell. That would make for great conversation.

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What’s your favourite geographical foodie destination?

I have eaten some of the most delicious food in my life in Spain. However, in Scotland, I would say the best food destination is Edinburgh. There is an abundance of incredible restaurants. So many I have not yet eaten in, but there is still plenty of time to try them all.

Michael will be cooking live at Foodies Festival, which is taking place at Rouken Glen Park, Glasgow, from August 12-14, www.foodiesfestival.com

Gaby Soutar is a lifestyle editor at The Scotsman. She has been reviewing restaurants for The Scotsman Magazine since 2007 and edits the weekly food pages.

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